LETTERS-June 2001
Celebrating Diversity at EAR CANDY!

If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing.
-Kingley Amis

Well, we knew it would happen sooner or later - someone who doesn't quite agree with EAR CANDY's perception of music...writing in and complaining.

But, was it an irate reader? No, it was an "artiste" who didn't like our review of their work. This "artiste" thought it their professional duty to deeply delve into touchy-feely political correctness and blindly apply that to my review! How about facing the reality that your CD is just shite! No matter how you polish a turd, it remains a turd. To be fair (but wasn't I in the first place?), I have deleted the name of the said prima-donna artiste and printed merely their words...

Note: my comments are footnoted and included at the end.

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001


Your review suggests a certain disdain for women. 1 What is "that whole scene" or that "mentality"? As you may be aware, it is very difficult for female independent artists to be heard in the music business, which is overwhelmingly dominated by men. 2 That was the whole reason for the Lilith Fair phenomenon, which you disparage in your review. 3 That concert series exposed many new female artists who otherwise wouldn't be able to tour and who are treated badly by concert promoters, club owners, etc. 4 The artists who participated represent a very broad range of styles. Since the women artists that you dislike encompass a wide range of musical styles, you give the reader (mostly men, I assume) 5 the impression that women make a certain "type" of music and that none of it appeals to you. If it is not all women that don't appeal to you, could it be women who write personal songs about feelings? Is it the emotional nature of the music that turns you off, or do you prefer a more electrified, harder rock musical background? 6 Being more specific would make your review sound less misogynistic 7 (and, by the way, less than half of the songs on my CD were acoustic--my guitar player plays a Gibson SG and I play a 1968 Fender Coronado II semi-hollow body on 8 of the songs). 8

I actually thought your review was funny because our local alternative paper liked my CD but criticized it for sounding too much like Elliott Smith and praised it for rising above the rest of the "Lilith Fair crowd." 9 There's quite a backlash in the press against women who decide to organize their own tour their own way, it seems. 10 I'm sure that you are not aware of the way in which your comments contribute to the chilly climate that women experience in all aspects of the music business, so I think you will want to think about this when you review music by female artists in the future. Do you have any reviewers at Ear Candy that are women? 11 Anyway, I won't trouble you again. I know that Ear Candy is a labor of love for you and that what you do helps many independent artists, who need some press clips and attention to get started. 12 Best wishes,

(Name Withheld)

Now for my rebuttal. Sorry, but I can't help responding to such a lofty, pompous letter...

1. Obviously she didn't bother to read our reviews/interviews with the Muffs, the Masticators, Nashville Pussy, etc...

2. Not if they are any good!


4. Boo hoo, like being treated badly by concert promoters is something new? Ever read Chuch Berry's bio dear? Or do you just read bad poetry?

5. Yes, the other female singers/songwriters/musicians that I have covered in EAR CANDY are laughing now...

6. Again, apparently Missy, you didn't bother to see just who we've covered in the past at EAR CANDY. I won't bore the regular readers, but if you simply click on the "ABOUT" button, you'll see the wide range of styles we cover...not JUST hard rock.

7. Misogynistic? Sounds like a word out of the Lilith Fair "How to be Pretentious Manual"!

8. But, what guage of guitar strings do you use?

9. Is he your husband/boyfriend/guitar teacher?

10. Only in your imagination, Miss 'Victim Mentality. It gets plenty of press in the likes of 'fashion rock' magazines like ROLLING STONE and YM.

11. Why yes, I do, and she laughed as hard as the women featured in EAR CANDY (all of whom got a copy of your humorous letter). Trust me, her review probably would have torn you a new one!

12. Ahhh, the truth comes out! She just wanted narcissistic fodder for her press kit!

Hmmmmmmmmmm...maybe I am being too hard on women artists? I should put them on a pedastal, shaking in fear and waking up in cold sweats at night because of the possibility that they can't handle ANY criticism? Furthermore, I should LIE about how great a record is (Especially when it is total, pretentious crap!). Besides, who needs honesty in music? But what about all the male groups that have gotten far worse reviews in EAR CANDY? Oh, that must be different! They have all the advantage, don't they? They aren't weak little women who need to be coddled? I KNOW LOTS OF WOMEN WHO ARE OFFENDED AT YOUR "ALL WOMEN ARE WEAK AND VICTIMS" MENTALITY. I FIND YOUR ATTITUDE TOTALLY REVULSIVE. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE YOU POMPOUS, PRETENTIOUS PRIMA-DONNA!

WHEW! I feel better now. Back to a thankless job...

More to come...I'm SURE!